electrical tape Summer 2004 Mix (www.electricaltape.ca) Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Taking the democratic DIY aesthetic and community-building ethos of punk fanzines as a jumping-off point, Electrical Tape is a multimedia "zine" that focuses on highlighting acts beloved by the local indie cabal, although Randy Chase extends his reach outside the GTA. In this first issue, there's a clip for Oshawa dirge crew Anagram and arty imagery from Montreal instro-rock quartet Les Angles Morts. This in addition to a quirky "day in the life" of fake Frenchies Ratsicule, a profile of the barter-based Consumption Records, a comprehensive intro to T.O. no-wavers the Creeping Nobodies and a bio of panic folksters Les Mouches.
While the zine's production values aren't Hollywood-calibre, the quality of Electrical Tape is very good. Chase knows how to handle a DV-cam, so his shots are steady (no Blair Witch nausea here) and well lit - even when he's shooting in basement rehearsal spaces. And the content here is great. Intelligent documentary-style questions give even newbies a sense of the vast talent flourishing below the mainstream radar. Some of the stuff, like the thoughtful anecdotes and images in the Les Mouches bio, provides the kind of depth that won't fit into your average weekly feature. The benefit of the video format is that you get to see the musicians in action rather than relying on some verbose rock scribe's deconstruction. Like an indie version of The New Music, but better.
Les Mouches and the Creeping Nobodies play Cinecycle Saturday (September 25) to launch the Nobodies' new Stop Movement Stop Loss disc.